By way of a recent client project, I was reminded about an exercise on the distinction of HAVING what we want, DOING what we do to get what we have, and BEING whatever we hope will result in our feeling good about what we’ve created in our life. In reverse, you’ve got to BE before you can DO and DO before you can HAVE.

By responding to BEING, DOING, and HAVING in this order, we can create a totally different result that looks like a much healthier, balanced, and meaningful life. The first question becomes how do I want to BE? This is the emotional, like being more caring, sensitive, loving. Next, what do I want to be DOING, writing a book, travelling the world, designing a vegetable garden. The third is Having the life I want as a result of who I am, plus, what I am Doing.

There’s great pressure from society to live the prescribed life. When our lives are prescribed by the fearful, and mandated by what we’re “supposed” to do, we miss the boat for the life that wants to be more intentional and authenticate to our nature. It’s good to remember that every choice, or decision, we make has a consequence.

There is an entire generation of recent grads working in unexpected jobs, or not at all, living at home, and being supported by parents who are scratching their heads wondering what was that investment all about? What will be the ROI (return on the investment) of these expensive educations? Students with loans are pondering the same question.

Because of the economic downturn and the world being in turmoil this generation of grads is caught in a SHIFT without a plan or a skill set beyond what’s worked before. Before is no longer. What I see is an opportunity for looking at what this talented and educated group can do and create by looking at their world with a different eye… or better yet, from the inside out.

My friend Carol says, “if you want a job, you have to create it yourself.” I remember Vera, the scarf, ladybug Vera, whose first job out of art school during WW II was painting roses onJB_Art_PM metal wastepaper baskets. Vera didn’t love roses, never did!  So, she went to her boss and said, “you know women love daisies, I think we should be painting daisies on our baskets”. He wasn’t so sure until she said, “well, I can paint daisies a whole lot faster than I can paint roses”. And he said, “O.K. Vera paint daisies”. Her daisies became their best selling pattern and when Vera created her own enterprise she became the most successful female designer in the world. Seeing an opportunity and speaking up was Vera’s path to her Being, which led to her Doing what she loved, and opening the way to HAVING her ultimate success.

A SHIFT in our thinking is needed!

My new assistant Isabella, just out of college, thought she was destined to work in NYC but she wasn’t willing to pay the rent by BEING a waitress or bartending, in order to DO a job she couldn’t even name. She was far more interested in BEING independent, responsible, and self sufficient, thus, was drawn to what goes on here at Jill Butler art&design, and was willing to DO what needed DOING. She has now created, HAVING, a job for herself in sales and marketing.

If we don’t know who we are, it’s time to find out. If we don’t know what are our offerings, our talents, or what are our gifts to give, it’s time we did. If we want to be taken care of without participating, we need to get beyond that and start thinking in new actionable ways.

Sometimes I Get a Little Lost

Start by spending less time with the devices, and more time moving physically, eating better and balanced food. Begin connecting in real and meaningful ways, eyeball to eyeball. Pay attention to your surroundings and you will begin to see what you are attracted to. By listening deeply, and watching attentively, you’ll begin to see where you can contribute. When you see a need, or an opening, consider it a sign that there is something here with your name it.

When in doubt, ASK for help. Ask, who am I BEING? What am I DOING? And what kind of life can I create that is worthy of HAVING?